One of the words that keeps coming at me over and again in this current season for me is “Extravagance.” I feel absolutely surrounded by glorious extravagance. Like I’m swimming in it. We’re starting to settle into our new home. I keep thinking there is no reason in the world that we should be in a house like this. This house is special. We couldn’t afford a home like this in a place like this in a million years. This simply must be grace.
But it goes further than that. Soon after we moved in here I started trying to get back into my walking/jogging routine. I discovered that just up the road from us is ‘the country’–the kind of country that reminds me of home. Farms, and trees, and flowering plants, hills and fields. It smells so good in those spots: like dirt and flowers and baby leaves.
Then I set out one day to see how close I could get to the water. We could see it from our house…. But how close was it really? And if there was access to it was it all in restricted ‘military base’ places?
Imagine my surprise when I found 1/4 mile from our home, a ‘backroad’ beaten with potholes, that takes you to the beach. So we’ve spent some time exploring there… We took a ridiculously long beach walk two weekends ago, and while doing so we crossed paths with three otters. We’ve lived here almost five years. I’ve wanted to see a sea otter for five years… Husband said he saw one the first week he was up here. I’d stopped believing they really were here. And then we saw three. They played in the water, and then came up on the beach right in front of us, sunned themselves, played, noticed us and headed back out to sea where they continued to give us a show of playing and peeking back at us for at least 25 minutes. Since then I’ve seen another otter in a completely different spot, and seen our family of three again while walking along ‘our beach’ another day. Sea otters are my thing. I’ve loved them since I first saw them in a trip to Alaska with my parents. In my mind there is no other explanation for being inundated with sea otters lately except that God is, for whatever reason, saying I love you… wooing me witih gifts he knows I find better than jewels… showing me his extravagantly good heart.
I could go on and on about a park that I discovered in the town C goes to preschool in with sweeping views of the islands; about the 13 deer that I saw there yesterday just milling about as I walked by with a stroller; about the way the sun has played on the mountains; about the storms blowing over the water, swirling around and then giving way to blue sky and sunshine. I can go on and on, but it can all be summed up in one word:
Or another two:
There is no reason I should be so blessed. I could sing deyenus (It would have been enoughs) for all time for the blessings we’ve been given besides any of these… This kind of extravagance makes me nervous, makes me wonder if a downturn is coming… If this is a season of beauty because I will need to store it up for a season of pain. I have never done well with extravagance. I feel awkward and unworthy and nervous around it. But I am trying to remember that right now is what is most important. That bad things WILL happen at some point, because it’s a simple fact that ‘in this world we will have trouble.’ I try to be mindful that worrying about them steals the joy of this extravagance. I want to stay present. I want to soak it in. I want to breathe it all in, and store it up and cherish it.